Style by Claire Lopez

Vertical limits

We’ve all got a stripe or two in our wardrobe – I’ve got five and that’s just tops. And there’s a reason for that, because it’s the easiest form of print, it goes with everything and never dates. But that doesn’t mean you can’t update yours and give it a bit of a refresh. Because while stripes are still very much the thing, the direction has changed. Literally.  And it’s now all about the vertical. Which is actually very good news indeed because a vertical stripe is way more flattering than ever a horizontal one will be. These are the lines of taller and slimmer illusions. Well, what’s not to like?

First up is this Off-shoulder Striped Dress £49.99 from Mango which I have and were it not for the miserable weather, I would be wearing. It is a great holiday dress so exactly the sort of thing you should be wearing if you happen to be heading abroad. Not the sort of thing to be wearing if you are here and needing waterproofs and wellies. Oh the joys of the great British summer.

Tea dresses are very much the order of the day and this Cream and Navy Stripe Frill Sleeve Tea Dress £40 from River Island is very pretty. Better for those on the smaller side of the height spectrum.

A no-brainer would be a stripe shirt dress like this one £29.99 from Zara.

Or this one £39.99 which is lovely. Another great midi dress and a versatile one at that. And I love it with the red boots to – who’d have thought…

Alternatively you can go sleek and simple with this Spaghetti Strap Maxi Dress £45 from & Other Stories.

Another summery buy is this Stripe Button Through Linen Rich Skirt £28 from Next. Not sure about the jacket here but a simple cami or tee and some tan accessories would work perfectly.

On the top front, this Embroidered Stripe Shirt £36 from Warehouse is a must for everyday casual dressing. Now this is something you can very easily wear now and indeed all year round. Put over a bikini, with denim shorts, jeans and sliders or trainers. Or if you want a smarter feel you could also pair with tailored trousers. It is a lovely soft cotton so falls very nicely. Embroidery on stripes is a big trend and is a nice way to update a classic.

Alternatively, Gap has a Poplin Stars and Stripes Shirt £39.95 that I love. This is a much crisper feel and while I don’t think I would wear this tucked in, I love the idea of this worn out over dark cropped jeans – either skinny or kick flares.

For something that ticks the trend box, then this Ticking Stripe Bardot £32 from Oasis is a winner on the off the shoulder and stripe fronts. This is one of the nicest off the shoulder tops I have seen because there isn’t any gathering across the front and so it sits flat rather than puffing out like a billowing tent.

These Striped Trousers £24.99 from H&M are another good buy for this strange non-summer and one you could dress up or down to bridge the casual and smart divide.

Or Zara has these Striped Trousers with Belt £25.99

On the accessories front, this Contrasting Stripes Leather Bag £29.99 from Zara would be fab with either denim or with tailoring. Bloody love the styling here. The burgundy boots and oversized white shirt are very simple but manage to look timeless and current at the same time which is no mean feat.

I’m a convert. Let’s face it, when you’re five foot not much, then anything that helps create an illusion of height has to be a good thing, right?

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